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'The Simpsons' voice actor Harry Shearer creates a home at Loyola

June 7, 2013

Harry Shearer (left) with Donald R. Boomgaarden, dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts.

Harry Shearer, voice of more than 20 characters on the “The Simpsons” and bass player for the satirical rock group Spinal Tap, recently signed on as an artist-in-residence at the College of Music and Fine Arts of Loyola University New Orleans.

“We are thrilled to have Harry working with us—he is a brilliant artist and a great friend of New Orleans,” said Donald R. Boomgaarden, dean of the college.

In his new role, Shearer will serve as a source of professional advice and guidance in filmmaking for Loyola students and will offer workshops on writing, acting and directing. Many students will gain hands-on experience as interns and assistants for Shearer, who will use Loyola’s state-of-the-art recording and filming studios for many of his own productions. Shearer and students are currently working on a new Web series, which parodies a popular reality television show.

A part-time resident of New Orleans, Shearer has frequently made appearances in Loyola professor Jim Gabour’s classes and the college’s music industry forums. The legendary funnyman tackles his new role with the same humor and energy for which he is renowned.

“For a curmudgeon like me, seeing all those bright, optimistic young people is impossibly depressing,” Shearer said. “But since I had tried teaching early in my youth (and liked it), these meetings revived my nascent interest in pounding my view of the world into malleable young minds. The offer to be artist-in-residence at Loyola allows me to pursue this mission with renewed vigor. And who knows? When one of them becomes a movie mogul, he or she may throw me a halfway-decent part.”

Shearer made his first on-screen appearances in “Abbott and Costello Go to Mars” and “The Robe” in 1953 at age 7. In a career spanning more than 60 years since then, he has worked as a writer, producer, director, actor, radio host, author and voice-over talent.

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